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(Tinea Unguium; Fungal Nail Infection)
|Fungal Infection of the Toenails|
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- Thickened nail that is difficult to cut
- Brittle or ragged nail
- Discolored or unsightly nail
- Pain in the nail when doing ordinary activities
- Examination under a microscope
- Prescription antifungal medicine taken by mouth—These medicines may work better than other treatments. Some people cannot take antifungal medicine. Talk your doctor about your health and any other medicines that you are taking.
- Topical antifungal treatments may be an option for certain people. This medicine may be less effective than taking an antifungal pill. It also has less risk of side effects, though.
- Keep your feet clean. Dry them completely after washing.
- Keep your hands dry and wear rubber gloves when cleaning.
- Keep nails short and clean. Trim them straight across.
- Do not trim or pick at the skin near your nails.
- Avoid injuring your toenails.
- Avoid shoes that are too tight.
- Wear absorbent cotton socks. Change them if they become damp.
- Avoid walking barefoot around swimming pools, locker rooms, and other public places.
- Avoid artificial nails. They can trap moisture.
- If you have diabetes, see your doctor about steps you can take to control your blood sugar.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
American Board of Dermatology http://www.abderm.org
College of Family Physicians of Canada http://www.cfpc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Garcia-Doval I, Cabo F, et al. Clinical diagnosis of toenail onychomycosis is possible in some patients: cross-sectional diagnostic study and development of a diagnostic rule. Br J Dermatol. 2010;163(4):743-751.
Nandedkar-Thomas MA, Scher RK. An update on disorders of the nails. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005;52:877-887.
Onychomycosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us. Updated July 27, 2012. Accessed December 3, 2012.
Rodgers P, Bassler M. Treating onychomycosis. Am Fam Physician. 2001;63:663-672,677-678.
Thomas J, Jacobson GA, et al. Review article. Toenail onychomycosis: an important global disease burden. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2010;35(5):497-519.
- Reviewer: David L Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 12/2013
- Update Date: 01/13/2014